Update: A reader left this comment worth posting: "Hillary is a political succubus. She will suck the energy and will from this party until we are broken and defeated. ... Even if one does not consider the supposedly inflammatory nature of the Wright sermons, she took an opportunity to promote healing or at least thought provoking discussion, and instead parroted a line that even the conservative nominee and the man he defeated has abandoned. ... I have no doubt Hillary would have left her church and the place that introduced her to Jesus because it is abundantly clear that there is no belief, no ethic, no moral, or important relationship she would not gladly sacrifice in order to further her own naked ambition."
"And you know I'm just speaking for myself, and I was answering a question that was posed to me," said Hillary Clinton as she reads from her notes. TPM video of Clinton:
Does anyone have any doubt now that Hillary Clinton has crossed the line using racism in her pursuit of political power?
And Rep. Tammy Baldwin, a superdelegate pledged to Hillary, will you now disavow Hillary Clinton? Tammy, you know appeals to bigotry when you see them, and Hillary's is as ugly and potentially destructive as the national Democratic stage has seen in decades.
Clinton's latest tactic came in an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, during which Clinton suggested that Reverend Wright is guilty of "hate speech," and said, "He would not have been my pastor. You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend."
Obama's campaign has hit back immediately:
"After originally refusing to play politics with this issue, it's disappointing to see Hillary Clinton's campaign sink to this low in a transparent effort to distract attention away from the story she made up about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia. The truth is, Barack Obama has already spoken out against his pastor's offensive comments and addressed the issue of race in America with a deeply personal and uncommonly honest speech. The American people deserve better than tired political games that do nothing to solve the larger challenges facing this country," said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.
But Hillary is threatening the historic coalition with black America and her attempt to secure the nomination has to be shot down now and hard. I mean playing on racism, are we going to countenance this?
A piece in Kos eloquently calls for an end now to Hillary's appeals to hate. Personally, I think Hillary is considering a third-party run. From Kos:
Clinton is not only presumptuous, she is vicious and divisive and hurtful. She should be defending Barack Obama against unfair attacks, and defending and contextualizing the tradition of black sermonizing. In his speech, Barack Obama sought to educate and bring reconciliation. Clinton's response is to throw it all back in his face and suggest that there is something wrong with him for
attending his church. ...
If Clinton succeeds in pushing this racial polarization to the point that white people will not vote for Obama, the black community will never, ever, forgive her. ...
At this point it is absolutely imperative that the party leaders step in and stop the Clinton campaign from inflicting lasting damage to the relationship between the party and the African-American community. She cannot be allowed to even try to win the nomination this way, let alone actually win it.
This is poison of the worst possible kind. It will destroy the party's electoral viability more swiftly and more surely than anything I can think of.
I call on Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, Chairman Dean, and the other leaders of the party to step in right now and call this contest.
The Clintons absolutely must not be permitted to do this. It must be stopped.
Myself, I call on Tammy Baldwin to step up right now and denounce Hillary Clinton. Silence is a betrayal to every progressive who has worked with you and the cause of justice.